Lesson 108: After Judas Left
John 13:31-48, 14:1-31
A Blending of The Four Gospel Records. Welcome again! This is lesson # 108. After the passover supper ended and Jesus washed the disciples' feet in that upper room, on that Thursday night; Judas descended the stairs and began to make his way through the dark narrow streets. But, in that dim olive-oil lit upper room, Jesus continued to speak to his apostles. John 13:21 said, Jesus was troubled in spirit. Jesus knew it would be only two or three hours until he would be arrested by a mob, guided by Judas. Luke tells us, Jesus began the conversation that nigh be saying, "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer..." Mark said that when Jesus Announced that one of the twelve would betray him, "they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, is it I?" So, I sense that the mood in that upper room after supper became very somber. Every heart was heavy and the environment grew still and quiet. Jesus, being troubled in the spirit, must have spoke in a more serious voice and undoubtedly those apostles were more attentive than usual. Let's read John 13:31-35. If you have that, let's read. Beginning in John 13:31. "Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If Cod be glorified in him, God shall glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come: so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Alright, try to get a feel for the air of impression and atmosphere of that upper room. As the footsteps of Judas died out on the stairs, it was the first step in carrying out Jesus' actual death on the cross. So, when Judas was gone, Jesus said in v.31, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him." The process had been set in motion. Jesus spoke to his apostles in the most compassionate way, "My little children" (v.33) as if to say, you're about to become orphans. He said YOU SHALL SEEK ME. But, Jesus told them, "Whiter I go, ye cannot come." And Jesus reminded them that he had told the Jews this same thing. Jesus said this in the temple several months before, John 8:21-22. That was like saying in that already somber moment; I'm leaving. You can't come. It was like saying, farewell! As that upper room took on an almost funeral silence, Jesus looked them straight in the eye and said, "A new commandment I give unto you..." Eleven brains must have been waiting and saying within themselves, What can it be? Then finally, three words, "LOVE ONE ANOTHER." The Jews had known to love one another for hundreds of years. In the Greek there are several words that can be translated "love" in English. There is sexual love, parental love, buddy-buddy love or brotherly love. But, you cannot command sexual love, parental love or buddy-buddy love. Those loves are either innate or developed. Two grown men may have great affection and adoration for each other. They may enjoy going fishing, going golfing, going camping, or just being together and telling stories. That is "P-H-I-L-I-A" in the Greek. It's a developed love, or friendship love (like David and Jonathan in the O.T.). But, you can't command that kind of love. Some personalities tend to click! Some personalities just won't do it. You have friends that you would drive all the way across the United States to spend a couple days with. You know other people that if they imposed themselves upon you for five minute, you would be bored to death. Can you command yourself to be as happy with the latter as you would be with the former? Of course not! I remember when I was in the military, more years ago than I like to admit, one fellow in the outfit was talking about another. He said, I would like to be friends with him; but, I believe if we were to meet up in a telephone booth, there would be room enough to play a game of ping pong. And he was whipping himself because he couldn't be friends with a certain person. I have met brethren that feel that there's something wrong with them, if they can't be buddy-buddy with everybody they know. But, my friend, that's not what Jesus was saying! He was NOT commanding us to be buddy-buddy with anybody. There's nothing in the Bible that says you must be buddy-buddy with every other person. That is a psychological impossibility. The word Jesus used here in v.35 was "agape", A-G-A-P-E, in the Greek. All these Greek words are translated "love" in English. But, "agape" means to seek the highest interest and the highest good of a person, regardless of how that person treats you. Even if you can't stand the person, in a buddy-buddy sense, you still must seek their highest interest. If they throw rocks at you; you still don't throw rocks at them. If they make fun of you and make smart remarks to you; you still don't make fun of them or make smart remarks to them. You seek their highest interest, even if you can't stand them, you still seek their highest interest. Now, that's "agape"! And, that's the kind of love, Jesus commanded of the apostles in v.34-35, in that somber upper room that Thursday night. Now, I apologize for giving you a treatise on "love"; but, quite frankly the majority of people in American are so mixed up on the word "love" that they don't even love themselves. Jesus commanded love, John 13:34-35; but, we need to understand what Jesus commanded. It's one of the highest concepts in Christianity. And, I DO BELIEVE, it's the least understood. Jesus said in v.35, this quality of "love" i.e. "agape" is the one thing that shall cause ALL MEN to recognize Jesus's disciples. It distinguishes a disciple from a non-disciple; if ye have love one to another. And when Jesus said that; those eleven apostles' feet hadn't dried off good yet. Jesus had been washing their feet less than five minutes before; because, there was strife among them which of them would be accounted the greatest.
Now, when the silence had grown thick enough to cut it with a knife; that impetuous apostle Peter spoke out. Let's read it! V.36-38. Have you got your eye on it? Let's read. "Simon said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterward. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay do™ my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." Are you willing to lay down your life for Jesus? Simon Peter was! Peter would rather have died than to have been separated from Jesus. At least that was his feeling at that minute. God's plan of life sometimes takes us through strange and undesirable circumstances. It's easy to have confidence in our own faith; believe in our own abilities, and our own capacity. But, the flesh is weak; as Peter soon discovered. Notice that Jesus said that ultimately Peter could come where Jesus was going. But, not then. Now, keep the setting in mind! Don't lose perspective! Keep it connected.Chapter 14! Let's read the first 4 verses in John ch. 14. Are you ready? Beginning in John 14:1. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know." Notice in v.5, that Jesus was interrupted by Thomas, one of the twelve. What had Jesus said? Some of the most beloved and some of the most sublime statements in the N.T. You've heard it read at ever funeral you ever attended. Let's paraphrase, Little children, I'm leaving you now. You can't come. Just one thing! Love, i.e. "agape" one another! Peter said, "Lord whither goest thou?" Jesus said. Peter you can't cone now; but, you'll eventually get to come. Don't let your heart be troubled! I'm going to prepare a place for you, Peter. I'll come again and then you can come! You know what to do that will eventually get you there. That's when Thomas interrupted, "Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" (v.5). That's like saying, Lord, I don't understand it! Idon't understand where you're going! How can I get there? You say that I know the way; but, I don't understand. Can you imagine how difficult it was at that moment for Jesus and the apostles? Jesus would be in the grave in 24 hours. The apostles would be scattered to and fro. So, Jesus tried to explain to Thomas in v.6, "Jesus saith unto him I [Thomas] I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [Thomas] If ye had known me, ye SHOULD HAVE known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." Do you remember what Jesus said to the Jews at the temple that winter at the feast of the dedication, John 10:30? "I and my Father are one." You see, John wrote this at a later time; but, John developed this for us just step by step. Then in v.8, Philip, another apostle interrupted Jesus and said, "Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us." First Peter, then Thomas and finally Philip. Let's read v.9-15. Ready? "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that 'I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments."
Peter had said, "Lord, whiter goest thou?" Peter wanted a physical place. Thomas said, "Lord...How can we know the way?" that's a physical question, too. Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father..." another physical request. Jesus' answer in v.9-11 adds up to this: you'll have to take my word for it, Philip. My manner of life leads to the Father's house; if you know my manner of life, you know the way. Jesus said in essence, Philip, if you can't believe my word; think about the works that I have done. He said to Philip, in essence, you can't believe on the works that Jesus did without believing Jesus. The two are inseparable. Now, I want you to look at something close in v.12. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto..." WHO? Fill in that blank! It's a three letter word, Y-O-U. Who is the antecedent of YOU in v.12? The apostles! Right? Don't forget it! Don't try to generalize it. Jesus was talking to the eleven apostles, after Judas had left. Now, what did Jesus tell the apostles? "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do..." That was quite a statement. Jesus had raised the dead. Jesus had healed many diseases. Jesus had calmed a storm and fed five thousand. But, Jesus said, in v.12, talking to the apostles, "the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these..." Why? Jesus said, "because I go unto my Father." Not only did Jesus promise the apostles, they would do great miracles; in v.13-14, Jesus promised the apostles that whatsoever they would ask in his name; it would happen. In v.15, Jesus said to the apostles, "If you love me, keep my commandments." How would the apostles show their love for Jesus? By keeping his commandments. Now, that statement applies to you and me also; NOT BECAUSE, it is said in John 13:15; BUT BECAUSE, it is said in I John 2:3-4-5. Remember the apostles were promised the keys to the kingdom, Matt. 16:19. Thus, the apostles did the loosing and the binding in the kingdom. In this sense, they are judges sitting on thrones, Matt. 19:28 and we just covered another one in Luke 22:29-30. Really, the thing that bothered the apostles most, undoubtedly, was the feeling they would be left to their own ingenuity when Jesus left. They were asking for physical things; but, in v.16-31; Jesus gave them a tremendous promise. The premise of the Holy Spirit, spiritual things. Let's read those verses, John 13:16-31. Got it? Let's read.
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, and ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These thing have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace Ileave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, Igo away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence." Alright, that takes us to somewhat of a break in context. But, we have covered so much in these verses that it's a little painful to lay the microphone aside and not comment on these verses. Please take the time to read and re-read this on your own. Understanding what Jesus said to the eleven apostles that night and understanding the promises Jesus made to the apostles is very crucial to understanding the rest of the N.T. The Holy Spirit is a subject much discussed and little understood. But, understanding what Jesus said to the apostles HERE is crucial to understanding the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. Please give this some outside reading and study. Until our next lesson. Have a good day.